Which speaker would sound better for me?

I am wondering which speaker would sound better! The NHT 3.3's or the NHT VT3's. I am currently using Aragon sepeartes (Soundstream pre-amp, 8008 amp)SD 9200 Toshiba dvd/cd player, with Transparent cables. It is a 60/40 music to home theater ratio for me. I am currently having a house built, and I will have a listening room of around 20X16. Please, any advice would be appreciated. Thank you
As good as the 3.3's are(although like all other lower sensitivity designs,86db, they are dynamically less nimble than higher efficiency designs by themselves), I think the Stereophile review of these two designs summed it up. The stated that, as good as the 3.3's are, the VT3's are better in every way! Now I don't know to what degree that statment is totally true, but you CAN BELIEVE that you'll have a TREMENDOUS dynamic advantage using the VT3's over the 3.3's both played full range by themsleves!!! The built in powered 500 watt amps and dual 10" drivers make for a fundamentally ACTIVE BIAMPED speaker (at least active in the bass woofers)! The dynamic advantage here is not small! Infact, if anyone thinks that a standard passive medium sensitivity speaker design can compete DYNAMICALLY with a POWERED ACTIVE SPEAKER( on it's own(at least with the bass woofer), they're sadly mistaken!
The only way to get the two speakers into a closer dynamic status, is when you cross the 3.3's over as "small" and let a WELL INTEGRATED AND PROPERLY SET UP/PLACED powered subwoofer(s) handle the lower bass. Otherwise, full range, the powered speaker has the decided advantage in that respect.
Keep in mind however, that if you did buy the 3.3's, and you thought you could set up some powered subs VERY VERY WELL(most can't, so don't fool yourself if you've got little experience here), you could approach the performance of the integrated powered VT3's, in my experiences. Still, having the well integrated woofers in the full range powered speakers is hard to beat, since they're already so well balanced at their crossovers and phase etc.
That said, and given what the reviewers hinted at for the rest of the sonic attributes, I think it's easy to say that the more expensive VT3's are an easier HT choice if you can swing the extra bucks. You could possibly biamp the 3.3's and cross em over with powered subs, and you could get excellent excellent results with big power amps and such.
But when you consider that the VT3's are already READY TO GO, you might consider that.
One other speaker you might consider looking at is the Infinity Prelude MTS powered hi end speaker. They're more attractive to my eye at least, sound very refined, and are a touch more foreward and involving for HT. But, associated equipment might be able to match things between speakers none the less.
Still, I think you'd love the vt3's if you chose that route.
Good luck
Well...i hate to be harsh...but I am not a fan of NHT...too bright in my opinion....and as far as their "slanted baffle design"...I believe they call it "focused geometry" or some nonsense very similiar...fuhgettaboutit...the soundstage never gets outside of the speaker...so they sound very closed in...for your sized room...I would probably go Vandersteen 2ce...phase correct design...boxless speaker design...and decent bass for the money...they are about 7-800 used...and down the road you can send them to Vandersteen for their "signature" upgrade for around 3 bills...
I am late into the response for this question. This is the first time I have entered into Audiogon discussion forum section.
After reading the above responses, I am tempted to express my views. I have sold many NHT speakers in the past 12 years. NHT is certainly not to be compared with very esoteric speakers such as the Wilsons or Avalons but it certainly does not deserve any bashing. I have had clients that have listened to Vandersteen sales presentation (90% influence on what you believe about that product is how it is presented)become very wordy about the characteristics of Vandersteen speakers. However, after a more objective listening and of course, subjective judgement, arrived at very much similar opinion for the most part that NHT's in general are very focused and gives natural sounds whereas Vandersteen tend to be more soft in highs and mids but heavier in bass. A particular client came to mind when he was brought into our showroom by a friend to listen to the NHT. (He owned then, a pair of Vandersteen, coincidently, 2 CE). As soon as he heard the first note of the music on a pair of 2.9 NHT powered by Aragon 8008BB, he exclaimed "That is the sound I wanted, ... natural sound of instruments and voice". After assisting him with improvement of his existing system which he was happy to have, he returned to pick up the NHT's.
VT2 is definitely much more dynamic than 3.3 or 2.9. In a hometheater setting it is a system hard to beat for price-performance measure.